Mancuso Confirms His Intention to Run for Student Senate President
By Benjamin Pontz, Managing News Editor
More than two months before voters will begin casting ballots, Michael Mancuso ’19, Chair of the Student Senate Opinions Committee and a senator representing the junior class, said during an interview on The Gettysburgian‘s podcast, “On Target,” that he intends to run for President of the Gettysburg College Student Senate in the upcoming April election.
This will mark the second consecutive year in which Mancuso has sought the office; last year, he lost to Luke Frigon ’18 in a four-way race that also included Michael Mancino ’18 and Andeulazia Hughes-Murdock ’18.
Mancuso is the first candidate to make a public declaration of intent to run in 2018.
An outspoken senator on a range of issues from freedom of expression to conference funding, Mancuso has served as Chair of the Senate Opinions Committee, which was created at his urging as an ad hoc committee in February 2017.
“What I love about this committee is that we’re the committee that is taking issues to the administration … that is really going to bat for the student body,” Mancuso said, citing both formal action such as the opinion passed last semester relating to freedom of expression as well as ad hoc advocacy on issues such as less foot traffic in the College Union Building (CUB) during the construction, which has hindered the effectiveness of CUB tables for advertising events. “It’s little things like [CUB table advocacy] and big things like freedom of expression that we get to do.”
As president, Mancuso believes he would be able to leverage his knowledge of parliamentary procedure to streamline debate and make the body as efficient as possible.
“I have a pretty robust knowledge of the rules of order,” he said. “I would hope to use that knowledge to make debate as efficient as possible. A lot of times Senate will drag on a little bit longer than it needs to because discussion and debate is getting a little confusing and a little out of hand. By sticking to those rules, and by using them — not as an impediment, but as a means of making it more efficient — the meetings will go quicker and people can be more engaged.”
He also wants to create a website for Student Senate that is separate from the college website to allow it to be updated more regularly with accurate information, which is a component of his agenda to support the Senate slogan, “Senate works for you.”
“This is something that we have started to work on within the last … two semesters, which is really taking to our heart our slogan of ‘Senate works for you,'” he said. “I think that we keep making strides in that direction of being that Senate does work for the student body, and I think that I would continue to do what I’ve done in Opinions Committee and I would be able to, as president, do more work to intercede for the student body with the administration and faculty.”
The full interview with Mancuso — which explores topics from freedom of expression to the Senate’s composition and election procedures in addition to his candidacy — will appear on this week’s edition of “On Target,” which will premier Saturday and is available online as well as through various podcast subscription services and on 91.1 WZBT Gettysburg.